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The Nigeria Labour Congress in Ogun state has accused the state governor of playing divide and rule game in the release of pension funds.
The leadership of the NLC who spoke with PLATFORM TIMES on the condition of anonymity querred the reason the state government held a meeting with some union leaders where he announced the release of some funds for the payment of pensions and gratuities excluded the NLC.
The NLC described the action as a smart game which had failed previous government before him .
The top officer however recalled that Dapo Abiodun was playing the same game that was played by the administration of Otunba Gbenga Daniel some years back .
According to the NLC leader , the Daniel government failed woefully and resulted to backlogs of outstanding .
The union leader wondered why the government is adopting the same old and failed system .
PLATFORM TIMES gathered that NLC was conspicuously absent at the meeting which had Chairman, Trade Union Congress, Ogun State branch, Comrade Akeem Lasisi , the State Chairman, Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Chief Waidi Oloyede, Secretary of the pension union, Dr. Bola Lawal and State Chairman, Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSON) and Chairman Joint Negotiations Committe, Comrade Isa Olude.
The NLC leader said “The governor is trying to divide the labour. He called some while others are saying that its their mandate. This is a serious issue there.
“And it is the workers in the state that he wants to put in jeopardy.
“What happened during Gbenga Daniel regime that we didn’t collect pension till date is the same the governor is doing.
“The Ogun State governor is trying to divide labour.”
Attempts to get reaction from the NLC chairman Emmanuel Bankole why he was absent at the meeting failed as he could not be reached as of the time of filing this report .
But, one of the leaders in the union told PLATFORM TIMES that the NLC was sidelined at the meeting for obvious reasons .
The NLC source complained that some of the unions have been compromised ,hence, they went without carrying along the NLC in the discussion .
The governor had anounced that as part of efforts to address the plight of workers and pensioners in Ogun State, his government had released N2 billion for four months to offset part of Global Cooperative deductions, a debt profile inherited from the past administration.
Abiodun had also promised to settle the rest of the deductions by releasing one billion naira quarterly until all the deductions made are defrayed.
Similarly, he released another 1 billion Naira for state and local government pensioners’ gratuities.
The new gratuities is a 100 percent increment from the earlier quarterly payment of N500m he had earlier commenced last year.
Chairman, Trade Union Congress, Ogun State branch, Comrade Akeem Lasisi, disclosed these at a press conference after a meeting between the leaders of Labour and Pensioners’ Unions and Governor Dapo Abiodun at the Governor’s Office, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
According to the TUC Chairman, “we had a fruitful meeting with the governor today. This is a follow-up to other meetings we had before. In the meeting, we told the governor that workers are tensed up and restless due to non- payment of their deductions and the Governor agreed to do something about it.
“I am glad to inform you that he has directed the immediate release of N1bn for the payment of gratuiities and that N1bn will be released on quarterly basis for the Pensioners. As at today, four months of global deductions has been paid and the governor also promised to do this on quarterly basis” he explained.
Lasisi also said the Governor has promised that promotion letters for 2O18 will be fully implemented by the new year while promotion entitlement for 2019 would commence by March next year.
Gov. Abiodun also assured workers to expect to enjoy their promotion entitlements for 2020 from between May or June next year.
Also speaking, the State Chairman, Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Chief Waidi Oloyede, appreciated the State Government for the gesture and lauded the Governor for accepting to look into the monthly increment, saying that some of pensioners collect as low as N5,000, as monthly pension.
Secretary of the pension union, Dr. Bola Lawal in his contribution, said, as a responsible union, its members would not embark on any form of protest without informing the government, noting that the last protest was done by an Association and not his union as ,”there is a difference between an association and a union”.
State Chairman, Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSON) and Chairman Joint Negotiations Committe, Comrade Isa Olude, called for commitment on the part of the parties involved to build trust and avoid misunderstanding.
Speaking, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Alhaji Waheed Odusile, reiterated government’s commitment to the welfare of workers who are serving and Pensioners who had served the State meritoriously
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